On the road with the ballet theater. Who needs red velor seats?


Most of the time, they’ve gotten used to traveling around life enough to complain a bit about the similarity. (In St. Louis, the touring booty cast got them excited again.) Usually, touring dancers have to adapt to a different scene in each city, but since they brought their own this time around, it was always familiar – bouncy, so sometimes hot.

Where to put this scene was trickier. At the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where the lodge was in the Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center next to the Red Barn, the floor sloped from the stage so as to cut off the view of the dancers’ feet. In Saint-Louis, installing the stage at the bottom of an amphitheater-like valley avoided this problem, but squeezing it there was a disturbing close shave.

Despite the company’s desire for ABT Across America to echo the troupe’s transcontinental tours of the 1940s and 1950s, it was a far less exhausting affair. During the war, during the 1943-1944 season, the troupe performed in 73 towns, making one-night stands in 48 of them. The tour 10 years later was similar: four months, 20 states by bus and train, mostly a different city every day.

But while ABT Across America was shorter and softer than that, it was significantly smaller and cheaper than the company’s touring model of recent years. “Even before the pandemic,” McKenzie told me, “the presenters laundered at the cost of bringing in 130 people and hiring an orchestra. A new touring model similar to ABT Across America could “add another arm to our mission,” he said. “The dancers will register. It would be extra work.

Certainly, the tour opened up a space for young dancers. “It seems that in every room we are pretty much equally represented,” said Carlos Gonzalez, a member of the body. “It’s a great opportunity to dance, to be seen and to gain experience that we don’t usually have. “

And it felt good, Teuscher said, to reach an audience that ballet theater might not normally reach: “We are America’s company, so it’s important to bring ballet to America. . “

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